Well-known, admired law professor shot, killed

Police: Dan Markel shot around 11 a.m. Friday

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The shooting death of an internationally known Florida State University law professor has many asking, "Why?" Police are still looking for that same answer.

Renowned law professor Dan Markel had been a prominent law writer and blogger around the state and the country. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic and Slate.

Markel was gunned down in his home Friday. Attorney and neighbor Reggie Garcia said the world lost a great man. 

"He was just a fun, laid-back guy," Garcia said. "I mean, not a lot of my professors brought me baked goods from their favorite deli in New York. You'll certainly hear this directly from the students, but they loved him."

Markel was apparently shot around 11 a.m. Friday. The Toronto native and Harvard graduate later died from his injuries. Police are saying this wasn't a random act of violence.

"We believe he was the intended victim in this case," said Dave Northway, with the Tallahassee Police Department. "'Targeted' is a hard word for us. Again, we have to make sure that we leave all of our avenues open, but we are doing everything we can to bring this case to a close for the Markel family and for Mr. Markel himself."

While looking for any piece of information that could be helpful, police started canvassing the neighborhood around Markel's house.

Police went door-to-door asking neighbors about any information they had. Jill Harper summed up the mood of the community. 

"Fear; there have been some car break-ins and home break-ins," Harper said.

Markel was a father to two young boys and was going through a divorce at the same time he was killed. Police wouldn't say if his estranged wife, also a distinguished academic, had been questioned.

"I cannot give the details of who we're interviewing what we're interviewing," Northway said.

Markel joined FSU in 2005. He primarily taught criminal law to hundreds of students from around the state.